Builders are having to hire bricklayers from Portugal on ￡1,000 a week because of a shortage of British workers able to do the job.
According to recruiters, a shortage of skills in the UK has forced firms to look abroad for construction workers, who can demand double the usual day rate.
Last month it was revealed that a sandwich-making company is to search for new employees in Hungary after being unable to find enough applicants from Britain.
James Hick, from the recruitment company Manpower, told the Daily Mail that firms were looking for bricklayers in Portugal and engineers in Spain.
He said, "There is a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople in Britain – bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, mechanical engineers, HGV drivers. Where they were paying ￡500 a week at the beginning of the year, the demand for those skills means they are now paying ￡1,000 a week."
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said, "Government-led efforts over the past four years have got Britain building, creating thousands of jobs. In November, ministers agreed with housebuilders to create tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships on sites across the country, to nurture home-grown talent for many years to come."